KABUL, Sept 4: Afghan security forces arrested eight policemen for accidentally killing six children when firing a rocket into a river to catch fish, officials said on Wednesday.
The incident took place last Friday in the Doshi district of the northern province of Baghlan when policemen on the bank of a river fired a rocket-propelled grenade into the water.
“The rocket went astray and hit a place where children were playing, killing six and wounding two others,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
“Eight police personnel accused of misusing government weapons that killed these children have been arrested and handed over to military prosecutors for investigation,” it said.
Ahmad Jawid Basharat, a provincial spokesman, confirmed the incident and said the children were aged between 10 and 14.
“The police did not mean to kill the children, they were fishing, but the rocket went astray and hit the other side of the river where children were swimming in shallow water,” he said.
President Hamid Karzai telephoned the families of the victims, offering them his condolences and assured them that “justice will be served”, according to a statement from his office.
Using explosives such as RPGs and hand grenades to kill and catch fish is not uncommon in Afghanistan. In some parts of the country people even use electrical generators and bare wire to catch fish, posing extreme danger to swimmers.—AFP